Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Shorter and shorter memories?

Just as the memory capacity of portable devices explodes are our cultural memories getting smaller? While software and computing have continually reinvented themselves, it seems that the memory cycle is getting shorter and shorter and narrower and narrower.

Maybe this is an aspect of the increasing complexity of technology where nobody can know the entire stack from circuit to UX. Yet at the same time that technology makes it easier and easier to decipher.

This came to mind reading an article about QR codes where the author clearly had done no research on the topic at all. A few quick searches and he would have learned that the idea of cameras always being sensitive to QR codes has long existed in Japan and other markets. As it is his piece comes over as, in the words of the social media generation, an epic fail.

Looking at the burgeoning consumer app market you can find loads of examples of people trying to reinvent concepts that failed five years ago for good reasons. Unfortunately adequate technology was rarely one of them. This could explain the rather depressing stream of emails telling me about services I'd forgotten signing up to were closing.

But one area where we really, really should remember all the failed systems in the past is in enterprise integration. Nobody has an excuse anymore, technical or business, for thinking that whatever they are building will not have to connect to other systems or to new end point devices. Yet this happens again and again.

So people, please check your history, plan for the future, and only then start to build.

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